Beyond Day Six
My sometimes-daily blog of a photograph or two with a few words, celebrating all the days of life that flow through creation into perspiration, inspiration, reflection, sabbath, and resurrection.
Most of my adult life, I have watched the dial on the bathroom scale jump from one number to another. I admit I have been a comfort eater in my attempt to deal with personal stress. So I gained weight each time I moved from one community to the next. It wasn't a great amount with each specific move, but it added up over time. I would go on a diet when I reached a number that I thought was too much, and I would lose pounds. But they seemed to always come back. About ten years ago, I did reach my peak. I was too heavy. I see how obvious it was in old photos. I did lose some pounds and gained back some. And the roller coaster continued until recently. And I have been diligent with Weight Watchers online and exercise for 4 1/2 months. I will continue as I am probably just a little over halfway to my goal. I regret that I hadn't been more successful in the past. But I am doing it this time. And it's pretty exciting. The good news I found out in June was that my bathroom scale weighs two pounds heavier than the one at my physician's office. So this post is not photography related, but I wanted to depict how erratic I see the pointer as it bounces between the numbers on the scale. I took a number of photos where I varied the weight on the scale. And then I opened each photo as a layer in On1 and used the multiply blend mode and then merged all the layers. And you see the result. Pretty easy.
Judy and Maddy spotted this bug floating in the pool yesterday. I took this photo with my iPhone so that I could identify it. Apparently, it is a red footed cannibal fly, Promachus rufipes. The size of these species of robber flies is 28-35mm. It was every bit that big. And looks ferocious. It is predatory with every other insect and will even attack hummingbirds.
This is my sister-in-law and her eight-month old great-granddaughter. I saw the opportunity for a fun photo when the family told that Karlee was beginning to pull herself up to a standing position. And that her favorite place to perform this was to use the window ledge. Sure enough, she crawls over to the window, reaches up to the ledge and pulls herself to a standing position. I took several photos as stood there, and then got an idea for Wanda to go outside and look through the window to her little girl. The moment didn't last real long, but long enough for half a dozen shots. This was the best one.
Last Friday, Judy and I were away from home, visiting family, and decided to take a morning walk in a local park. One of the features of that park was a rose garden. It was large, well-maintained, and aromatic with a variety of colors and shapes. We don't grow roses in our home garden. I don't think a real rose gardener would count "knock-out roses". Real roses require care. Judy complimented the two gardeners who were caring for the garden that morning. The man said, "Wait until you see next week." Alas, we would be at home and not witness the glory that he predicted. This specimen was pretty spectacular all by itself.
What is it about the ocean that captures our attention? No moment is exactly like another. The sky changes. Each wave is unlike the one before or the one after. We stayed in Navarre Beach, Florida for nearly the entire month of February and were enthralled by the scene each moment of every day.
Someone built this cabin with dreams and hopes of being able to make it on the high prairie, near the border of North Dakota and Montana. Maybe they succeeded. This building appears to have been constructed a long time ago. Part of the walls are sod. It has been in this spot for quite some time. So maybe they succeeded.
But, now, no one lives here. And, by its dilapidated appearance, it seems that no one has lived here for a long time. This building has stories to tell, if we only knew how to listen.
This Sunday's lesson from 2 Samuel1:26-12:13 follows the reading from last week, and describes the prophet Nathan's confrontation with King David about his immorality. Someone has to speak truth to power and make clear what the King has ignored and is blatantly obvious to everyone else. Nathan presents a moral issue to David where an unknown offender has stolen a lamb that was precious to its owner. David is outraged by the naked violation of ethical norms. Who is this vile person who ought to be punished? Nathan answers, "You, you are the man." I have wondered over the years about how Nathan delivered this indictment. Was it a thundering accusation? Or was it a barely-whispered, sorrow-filled complaint? I have found myself in situations, that I did not want to be, delivering a similar message to someone who was hiding their sin and had damaged their congregation. I grieved that we were caught in human failure, that neither one of us were perfect. And it was doubly painful when the other person was my friend. We all have sinned. Just admit it. There is a crack in creation to which we all have contributed. Repentance begins there at that moment of confession.
And so does mercy and forgiveness and grace and restoration. As the words form in the heart and spill from the lips, I am sorry, a new journey begins.
I didn't become a coffee drinker until I became a superintendent. Don't know why. I can't even pinpoint the day. And I am not one who needs coffee all day long, nor does it need to be strong.
Some might say I'm not a real coffee drinker because I put sugar in it. Some of my friends would say I put a lot of sugar in. Because I'm not a real coffee drinker. I've tried artificial sweetener and I can taste every single kind and find it ruins the coffee for me.
I am struggling, since I've been on Weight Watchers now for 4 months, that it is a challenge to begin the day counting at least 3 points for my sugared coffee. I tried it without for a short time. And discovered that I was just using coffee to get my sugar fix for the morning. Since I only get 24 points per day, and it will decrease as I continue to lose weight, the sugar in my coffee has an end in sight. The question is: without sugar, will I still be drinking a cup of coffee first thing every morning?
By the way, this sign is painted on the sign of a railroad diner car in Milton, Florida.
This is an 8 second exposure which blurred the motion of the ocean waves. I do recall that there was some wind blowing on shore, and it was difficult to keep my tripod steady in the sand.
The Old Testament Lesson for today is 2 Samuel 11:1-15, the familiar story of lust and lies. The scripture reading sets the scene with the context that it is spring, the time when kings usually go off to war. That's a disappointing observation to say the least about the normalcy of war. But the point the writer makes is that David stayed home. And notices Bathsheba, bathing on a nearby roof. Without any hesitancy, it seems, he orders her brought to him. And although the text minimizes the sexual act, most likely he rapes this married woman. She gets pregnant and notifies David. To cover what he did, he brings her soldier husband back from the battle front with the hope that he will do what husbands and wives do.
David takes another step that deepens this tragedy. He tells his commander to place Uriah in the center of the battle and then to fall back so that he will certainly be killed by the enemy.
Make no mistake that this is a commonplace story of adultery. Rather, it is an indictment of a powerful man who acted beyond the boundaries. While this Bible story tells of an ancient event, it exposes truth in contemporary situations where powerful men use women for their own pleasure and deny their wrongful actions. David thinks he has covered his sin but, as we hear next week, he has only deceived himself.
Imagine the grief of Bathsheba whose life was turned upside down by the lust and greed of David. Imagine the embarrassment of a nation that is trying to develop a system of ethics, morality, and law distorted by a corrupt king.
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© Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad